Welcome to Honey Ridge, Tennessee, where Southern hospitality and sweet peach tea beckon, and where long-buried secrets lead to some startling realizations…
Grayson Blake always has a purpose—and never a moment to lose. He’s come home to Honey Ridge to convert a historic gristmill into a restaurant, but his plans crumble like Tennessee clay when the excavation of a skeleton unearths a Civil War mystery…and leads him back to a beautiful and familiar stranger.
Once a ballet dancer, now co-owner of the Peach Orchard Inn, Valery Carter harbors pain as deep as the secrets buried beneath the mill. A bright facade can’t erase her regrets any more than a glass of bourbon can restore what she’s lost. But spending time with Grayson offers Valery a chance to let go of her past and imagine a happier future. And with the discovery of hidden messages in aged sheet music, both their hearts begin to open. Bound by attraction, and compelled to resolve an old crime that links the inn and the mill, Grayson and Valery encounter a song of hurt, truth…and hope.
SERIES: Honey Ridge #3
GENRE: Time-Slip/Southern Clean Romance
PUBLISHER: HQN Books
RELEASE DATE: July 25, 2017
Other Books In This Series
“…secrets have a way of revealing themselves eventually.”
Time-slip novels (aka dual timeline story threads that connect in some way) have recently become one of my go-to genres. So I was beyond thrilled to discover that the Honey Ridge series, including The Innkeeper’s Sister, is a time-slip story!
In the present day we follow Valery and Grayson, childhood friends who are reunited when Grayson and his brother Devlin arrive for an extended stay at Peach Orchard Inn which is run by Valery’s family. Sparks reignite immediately but both are harboring past failures and fears that affect their current actions and may put some obstacles in the path of their happily-ever-after.
Not to mention the skeleton unearthed when Grayson’s company begins to excavate a nearby abandoned mill with plans to turn it into a restaurant.
Which brings us to the historical portions of the novel.
A post Civil-War era mystery waits to be solved, and we are drawn in through peeks into the 1870s as well as clues left behind in the present and an eccentric old man who may know more than he’s telling. We know the main players from the 1870s mystery but what we don’t know (until it’s revealed, of course) is which of the intriguing characters match the skeleton discovered in the present day.
I loved everything about this story – from the contemporary Southern flavor to the post-Civil-War storyline to the romance and the gentle nudges of faith. It touches on deep issues from the past and in the present, hitting all the feels before all is said and done. The most intriguing aspect (for me) is the music that only Valery and Grayson hear – when no one is at the piano – and figuring out where Lem Tolly fits into it all.
Bottom Line: The Innkeeper’s Sister is a beautiful story of history, healing, and hope. Although this is the third book in a series, it works well as a stand alone. The romance is both tender and fan-inducing, and the historical elements add an element of intrigue to the overall story. Great characters and a poignant message of forgiveness and healing tie it all together.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 / Love it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / You may forget to breathe on occasion!
NY Times and USA Bestseller, Linda Goodnight writes novels to touch the heart as well as to entertain. Her emotional stories of hope have won the RITA, the Carol, the Reviewer’s Choice, and numerous other industry awards. A small town girl, Linda remains close to her roots, making her home in rural Oklahoma. She and husband have a blended family of eight, including two teenagers recently adopted from Ukraine. Many of her books are about family and children and rightly so, as she draws her deeply emotional stories from her surroundings, her great love of family, and from personal experiences as a nurse and teacher.
HQN Books is giving away a copy of The Innkeeper’s Sister to one of my readers! (US/CAN) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? Have you stayed at an inn/b&b before? What did you enjoy the most?